I was struck by one particular point made in Invesco’s presentation to the PLSA last month on Re-defined Contribution Schemes (the analysis of a comprehensive, international study into financial language usage).

In our line of business, the word ‘pension scheme’ is often ‘pensiona non grata.’ Clients don’t like us using it in their member communications. It puts people off! It’s jargon! It’s poison to the well-meaning communicator.

Or not. Invesco’s study showed that 88% of people in the UK preferred the term ‘pension scheme’ to ‘retirement scheme’. The latter, they feel, makes it sound like it’s not a ‘proper’ pension. Likewise, people generally understand what ‘contributions’ are; the use of the term ‘savings’ instead of ‘contributions’ makes them question the scheme’s validity.

Many of their findings resonate with what Wordshop is already doing – keeping the language simple and personal (and personalising the information where possible); keeping the messages positive; and talking realistically about pensions.